As Tiger Woods prepares for next week at Augusta, the ultimate practice aid has finally arrived.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters hits stores today.

Woods, who has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, needs all the help he can get these days. Last May, Hank Haney was fired -- er, announced he was leaving his role as Tiger’s swing coach. His replacement, Sean Foley, hasn’t gotten his client anywhere near the top of the leaderboard since taking over. Woods’ best PGA TOUR finish this year was 10th at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and that required a 66 on Sunday to shoot up 20 spots.

Maybe a few rounds at Augusta via his Xbox will help Woods get a handle on his game.

EA Sports announced the partnership with Augusta National Golf Club in January, much to the delight of fans of the video game franchise. But beyond being the first to ever offer a virtual version of the famed course, the game will also include special features such as Woods reminiscing on his four wins there over the years. Who better to give Tiger advice for this year’s tournament than Tiger himself?

"I felt really calm and good going into the event," Woods says in one video, referring to 1997 when he won his first major. "And I just had a nice, peaceful feeling that week."

Not exactly Marty McFly giving counsel from the future, but it’s a start.

Hopefully playing Augusta from the comfort of his $20,000 couch will help calm Woods for next week. It will certainly be much easier than the real thing. Rory McIlroy found out the difference between video games and real life a couple years ago. He used to tear up the virtual version of TPC Sawgrass in Tiger Woods '09, but got schooled the first time he set foot on the actual course in Ponte Vedra Beach.

But the thing about Tiger is he doesn’t need too much practice, especially not for the Masters. He’s teed it up there 16 times, winning at an outrageous 25 percent clip. Last year, coming off all the distractions from his personal life, Woods fired -11 and tied for fourth.

After that tournament, he wrote on his personal website: “As far as competing, it was just like riding a bike again. Once the tournament came, everything felt normal, and I fell into my old rhythm and routine. I didn't even think about it; it just happened. My body knew what to do.”

Tiger Woods doesn’t need Butch Harmon or Hank Haney or Sean Foley telling him to keep his eye on the ball. Not next week. All he needs is Steve Williams threatening anyone who’s weak enough to suffer from allergies and sneeze during Tiger’s backswing.

But a copy of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters couldn’t hurt.

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Look, people, we don't know when this lockout will end. Most assume we'll see football in 2011, but what if it's more like 2021?

We need to start looking down the road for the next superstar quarterback. And that brings us to Daron Bryden.

He's 8.

Don't laugh. This kid has a better throwing motion at his age than Tim Tebow did during his senior year at Florida. (Daron is even mentored by someone named "Coach Meyer"!) Can the kid throw a skinny post? Who cares? He can hit a half-court shot with a football.

Only problem is he looks a little too surprised when he pulls off a throwing trick. Act like you've been there, Daron.

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Stay classy, Brad Keselowski.

The 27-year-old driver had a literal front-row seat for history on Saturday, as Danica Patrick turned in the best performance ever by a woman in a national NASCAR race. She finished fourth in a Nationwide Series race in Las Vegas, right behind Keselowski.

But instead of saluting Patrick's feat, the defending Nationwide champ turned as green as the starter's flag. Right after the race, Keselowski tweeted:

"I'll go ahead and say tv skipped me for Danica. Imagine that..."

Exactly what history did Keselowski make on Saturday? Maybe he's the first driver to lose a race because of a last-lap flat -- while driving a car sponsored by Discount Tire. Would Keselowski have been pleased if TV cameras skipped Danica to ask him if he was considering switching to AAA?

More than an hour later, Keselowski threw it into reverse, tweeting, "haha In fairness, She did run really well" and then "I truly am happy for her She ran well."

But he still didn't seem to get it. When a Twitter follower asked Keselowski if he felt Danica's historic finish was more of a story than his flat tire, Keselowski replied: "that's for u the fan to decide... exactly y tv must treat us the same."

Not quite. TV must find the most significant story and report it in the limited time it has on the air. There are several better drivers than Danica Patrick on the NASCAR circuit, including Keselowski himself. But none are women. She's often a story when she runs poorly, and she's even more of a story when she runs well. It may not always be fair, but as the saying goes, "That's racin."

So a word of advice for Brad Keselowski: Next time use the spare, and next time spare us the pity party.

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It began as one of the greatest moments in a Michigan school’s history.

It ended as perhaps the worst.

Wes Leonard, star basketball player at Fennville High in a town 200 miles west of Detroit, scored the game-winning basket in overtime Thursday night to complete his team’s perfect season. The clutch play, by the school’s starting quarterback, sent Fennville fans into a frenzy, as the team finished its regular season 20-0. Teammates hoisted Leonard into the air in celebration.

Moments later, Leonard collapsed on the court.

The thrill became dread. Cheers became tears. And in a split-second, every parent’s dream for a son became every parent’s worst nightmare.

An ambulance took Leonard to Holland Hospital. He died at 10:40 pm. He was 16 years old.

“All efforts were made after he arrived to help restart his heart, but unfortunately those efforts were not successful,” hospital spokesman Tim Breed told the Holland Sentinel. “There likely will be an autopsy conducted to determine the actual cause of death. Clearly, we offer our condolences to Wes’ family and friends.”

Leonard recently passed the 1,000-point mark in career scoring, according to the Sentinel, and earned honorable-mention all-state honors in football last fall. He quarterbacked the Blackhawks to the second round of the Division 6 playoffs before they lost to two-time state champion Montague.

Leonard was recovering from the flu, according to Fennville coach Ryan Klingler, but seemed to be in great health otherwise. “That’s what makes him a little different. He takes care of his body better than probably anybody I’ve ever coached,” Klingler told the Sentinel Tuesday. “Spends a lot of time on his own in the weight room. He’s a special kid.”

Fennville is scheduled to start the state tournament on Monday.

The tragedy robbed the school and the town of a part of its history it would have always cherished.

More importantly, it robbed Fennville of a special part of its future.

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While North America obsesses over Charlie Sheen, South America is buzzing about an unfortunate owl.

The bird in question is the unofficial mascot for the Atletico Junior soccer team in Colombia. It landed in the corner of the field in a game Sunday and wobbled out toward the players, clearly injured and disoriented. Things got much worse for the animal when a player on the opposing team, stunned to see it in front of him, kicked the owl.

The bird died 30 hours later, of shock.

The ensuing shock of fans in Colombia has resonated all over the world, as the player who kicked the bird, Luis Moreno of the team Deportivo Pereira, originally explained he did it “to see if the owl could fly.” That further enraged soccer fans and animal lovers around the globe, and Moreno says he has received death threats.

“This animal was a symbol for the fans from Barranquilla,” Colombian officials said in a statement. “Given that the aggressive act took place in their home stadium and in the clear view of all the fans, this act can be legitimately interpreted as provocative.”

Moreno was fined $560 and suspended for two games. But for animal lovers and soccer fans in a proud Colombian city, no penalty could be too severe.

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Imagine it’s the third quarter of Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville.

Georgia’s beloved bulldog, Uga IX, shakes loose from his handler, saunters onto the field, stumbles a bit and plops down on the grass. No one can tell if Uga is OK or out of it.

The Florida quarterback walks over to check out the scene, and inexplicably decides to give the dog the boot, flinging him about five yards.

That’s essentially what happened in a Colombian soccer match just a few days ago, except the mascot was an owl -- and it’s now dead.


You genuinely have to wonder about the thought process that leads to the decision to boot not only an owl, but a unique-looking owl with obvious importance.

On what planet is that a good idea?

The player in question, Barranquila’s Luis Moreno, defended himself, saying he “did it to see if the owl could fly.”

Can you imagine?

There is zero justification for what Moreno did. If we’ve learned anything as a civilized society, it’s that if you mess with animals, a tidal wave of ticked-off is coming for you. Colombian soccer officials may sanction Moreno, and that nation’s animal protection laws allow the player to be jailed for up to three months." It’s doubtful that anyone will consider that too harsh.

Next time, Luis, just chill in the 18-yard box and occupy your time with something game-related. Ignore the owl so we can go on ignoring you.

The video below shows the owl receiving treatment, but it wasn't enough.

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